Brazil wins the World Cup
World Cup Report
This is the worst time of year for a sports fan. Football, even training
camp, won't start for a few more weeks. The NBA and NHL finished up a few
weeks ago and baseball is smack in the middle of its season.
Given that distressing situation, the sports fan is left with few options.
There is tennis, as arguably the world's greatest tournament, Wimbledon,
is going on. And there is the WNBA, just getting into the heart of its
The immediate future looks bleak for the sports fan. Today though, let's
look back at the world's greatest sporting event, the World Cup.
World Cup Final
Brazil is champion. Even in a year when the Brazilians weren't favored
to win the Cup, it should come as no surprise that "the beautiful game"
Germany, who had relied on superb defense and effective counterattacking,
could not stand up to the pressure the Brazilian offense applied.
For the first half, the Brazilian striking trio of Ronaldo, Ronaldinho
and Rivaldo were not themselves, looking tired and anything but dangerous.
Clearly though, Brazilian coach "Big Phil" Scolari said something important
at halftime, because the tide of the game quickly changed.
Up to the 67th minute, Germany and Brazil had roughly equal possession.
Then, the world's greatest player worked his magic. Ronaldo stole the ball
from Germany's Dietmar Hamann, then quickly gave the ball to Rivaldo. Rivaldo's
shot was blocked by goalkeeper Oliver Kahn. Ronaldo was there to score
on the rebound.
Later, Ronaldo scored when Rivaldo allowed a pass to go through his
legs, straight to the waiting striker.
Ronaldo's 12 World Cup goals (eight of them in this World Cup) tie him
with Pele for the most by a Brazilian. Ronaldo trails only Gerd Muller
of West Germany, who had 14, and Just Fontaine of France, who had 13.
Germany's Kahn had looked impenetrable for the entire World Cup. He
had given up just one goal coming in to the final. But the attacking flair
of Brazil was too much for any goalkeeper.
South Korea finally ran out of magic. Days after falling to the Germans,
Gus Hiddink's squad fell to Turkey in a lopsided battle. The final score
was 3-2, but the game was not as close as the final score.
The game began in spectacular fashion, as Turkey scored the game's first
goal just ten seconds in, setting a World Cup record.
Turkey striker Ilhan Mansiz made good on his promise. He said that if
he was in the starting lineup, he would score a goal. In fact, he scored
two, and set up Hakan Sukur on the first goal.
This marked the best finish in either country's history.